In January 2010, the Legal Services Commission (LSC) invited tenders from law firms to provide mental health advice and representation services across the strategic health authority areas and also in the specific high security hospitals of Ashworth, Broadmoor and Rampton. The new contracts commenced on 15 November 2010 and are to run until 14 November 2013.
Following the results of the tender process, Public Interest Lawyers and RMNJ solicitors issued judicial review proceedings. The judgment can be accessed here. They successfully argued that the LSC had failed to verify the quality standards of the firms contracting to provide services.
As a result of this case, the LSC now has a duty to go back and verify the quality standards of around 120 law firms that were awarded contracts during the recent tendering process. In the meantime, the new contracts will remain in place.